Hollywood Towers

Photo by   Adam Rubin

Photo by Adam Rubin

5701 North Sheridan Road, Chicago
L.R. Solomon–J.D. Cordwell & Associates, 1962

Located at the northern terminus of Lake Shore Drive, Hollywood Towers is not only significant for its role in the early development of the prominent Chicago firm of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, but also as a striking example of the postwar proliferation of luxury Modern high-rises built along the Lake Michigan shoreline. With its soaring twin towers, exposed load-bearing support piers, canted window bays, and gently curved steel-and-glass facades, Hollywood Towers can be considered a lively expression of the International style. Designers Lou Solomon and John Cordwell had received critical acclaim and popular attention in 1957 for their winning Sandburg Village proposal, which comprised a mix of townhouses and high-rise apartments set amidst a series of landscaped plazas. In 1962, as ground was just breaking on this prestigious development, the architects produced Hollywood Towers — a commission that helped paved the way for the firm’s increasingly prominent high-rise projects of the 1960s and 1970s. The Hollywood Towers project was important to L.R. Solomon–J.D. Cordwell & Associates for several reasons. Not only were Solomon and Cordwell the project designers—but they were also co-owners of the complex. In addition, the architects also used this project to test construction methods they went on to use in constructing the high-rises at Sandburg Village.